We started two schools in Uttarakhand this year, one in Matli village in Uttarkashi district and another in Uddhamsinghnagar.
The school in Uttarkashi is located in Matli village right in the center of the village square. The majority of the children (70%) belong to the disadvantaged section of the society; their parents are mostly daily wage earners and they live further away from the school; the remainder about 25 – 30% of them is relatively better off. Their parents own some land or run a small business and they reside in the vicinity.
Number of teachers: We have 8 teachers; 7 male and 1 female.
Number of students: we have a total of 80 children; 50 boys and 30 girls
Our Uttarkashi school is a primary school for classes 1 to 5. Children come to school for 4.5 hours every day
There is equal stress on games and academics. Assembly is an important event in the day; children participate wholeheartedly and there is a lot of singing together and sharing of what individual classes have been doing. The children are encouraged to interact with teachers often. This student teacher interactions are characterized by a complete absence of fear.
The Uddhamsinghnagar school is currently one of the largest Azim Premji Schools. Located in an old quilt factory, it opened its doors on April 10, 2012. Most parents of the children are daily wage earners who work in the factories & in the fields. The children have been to school earlier and are largely from private schools.
Number of students: 120 students.
Number of teachers: There are 12 teachers
The school works from 7:30 am to 12:40 pm for the children.
Besides teaching their own subject, teachers volunteer or contribute to other activities like story reading, music or teaching another subjet. Besides the teachers, we have had the community pitching in as well. The children are also provided with midday meals.
Assemblies are important in the school. Teachers have started sharing their interests, hobbies and current issues. The children have put up skits, poems, songs, mimicry, puppet show, dancing excellent storytelling sessions supported by the teachers. The assemblies bring the entire school together, start the day off on a high note and provide a lot of exposure to the children.